Activation Energy
Activation Energy

Activation Energy

Author: Nathan Lampson
This lesson will explain how activation energy is needed to start a chemical reaction.
See More
Try a College Course Free

Sophia’s self-paced online courses are a great way to save time and money as you earn credits eligible for transfer to over 2,000 colleges and universities.*

Begin Free Trial
No credit card required

27 Sophia partners guarantee credit transfer.

245 Institutions have accepted or given pre-approval for credit transfer.

* The American Council on Education's College Credit Recommendation Service (ACE Credit®) has evaluated and recommended college credit for 21 of Sophia’s online courses. More than 2,000 colleges and universities consider ACE CREDIT recommendations in determining the applicability to their course and degree programs.



The amount of energy required in order for molecules to chemically react with one another is called activation energy.

Certain chemical reactions require more energy than others to occur.  In order to speed up a chemical reaction, enzymes can lower the activation energy required for chemicals to react. An enzyme that lowers the activation energy of a reaction is called a catalyst.

This image shows the amount of energy required for a chemical reaction to occur with and without a catalyst.